New BIMCO position on anti-corruption now available





At the recent BIMCO Executive Committee meeting in Singapore a new BIMCO position paper on anti-corruption was approved.

BIMCO’s position on anti-corruption: 

  • BIMCO believes corruption in the shipping industry hampers international trade, distorts markets and increases costs ultimately borne by the consumer. More specifically, demands by port and other officials to masters for payments in cash or kind to perform legitimate services make it difficult for owners and operators to avoid threats to the master, delays to the ship, and extra costs if such payments are refused. 

  • BIMCO supports the intended aims of the UN Convention against Corruption, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) Anti-Bribery Convention, and other endeavours to fight corruption. At the same time, however, BIMCO believes the UK Bribery Act 2010’s zero-tolerance policy regarding payments in cash or kind to perform legitimate services is unworkable. In contrast, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act gives express permission – within narrow constraints?– to make payments to further routine statutory or contractual tasks, which BIMCO believes represents a more pragmatic approach to such difficulties.

  • BIMCO concurs that the ultimate aim is the total eradication of all forms of bribery and corruption globally. However, from a practical point of view, given the magnitude of the issue and the fact that corruption is deeply rooted in some countries, port states in particular should be encouraged to assume the responsibility of establishing and implementing effective anti-corruption control mechanisms and procedures. This would enable shipowners and operators to formally report and/or appeal against alleged acts of corruption encountered without fear of repercussions.

The new position including a discussion is available on the BIMCO website under the heading “Viewpoint”. All visitors of the website can find BIMCO’s points of view and positions on issues which the organisation considers of critical and topical relevance to members. 

These positions are developed by the Secretariat and approved by BIMCO's Executive Committee and Board of Directors based on recommendations from the various BIMCO committees. They are basically short texts summing up BIMCO’s viewpoints reflecting the wide range of work that BIMCO is involved in, mainly regarding the international development of the regulatory environment which shipping operates in and also some commercial elements. This includes a wide range of topics such as the need to keep shipping regulation global, piracy, and fair treatment of seafarers. The topics included reflect the current ongoing international agenda and topics may change, depending on whether they continue to be of concern to members. 

To learn more, simply select the menu item "Viewpoint" at the top on the right of the menu. 

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